Connecticut lawmakers vote to end variable rate contracts

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HARTFORD — Variable electric rate contracts for residential consumers would be banned under a bill that has cleared the General Assembly.

The House of Representatives on Wednesday voted 144-1 in favor of a bill that would end such contracts starting Oct. 1. Proponents of the legislation said many consumers, especially senior citizens, have been lured into contracts with low teaser rates that later balloon.

Rep. Lonnie Reed said lawmakers believe the ban is necessary to protect electricity customers, even though the legislature passed a number of reforms last year to provide consumers with more information about their bills and power contracts. For example, starting July 1, every residential customer’s bill must display their rate for the coming month.

The legislation already cleared the Senate. It now awaits Gov. Dan Malloy’s signature.